Fact vs. Fiction: Booktango Reviews, Complaints and Scams

Fact vs. Fiction: Booktango Reviews, Complaints and Scams“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” I can’t tell you how many times my mother uttered those words growing up, and most of the time she was right. We often get some skeptics who check out Booktango and ask the questions: “If it’s free, 100% royalties, and non-exclusive rights, what’s the catch? How do you make money?”

These are legitimate questions from a consumer who is shopping around for a DIY publishing platform. But, there is no catch! Booktango was created from a group of forward thinkers who wanted to provide tools for any author to publish themselves. We wanted a platform that empowered authors to invest as much (or as little) into getting their book available on major online retailers.

I want to take a minute to debunk three of the most popular Booktango myths floating the interwebs and give you honest and direct answers.

Myth #1: If I publish with Booktango, I have to give up the rights to my book. False! Our terms and conditions state we have non-exclusive rights to your book, which means you can publish with us and another publisher at the same time. You can also publish with us and have full rights to cancel your book and take it elsewhere if you receive a traditional publishing contract or other offers for rights to your book. In fact, we would be thrilled if one of our authors got their name and story out there and was subsequently picked up traditionally!

Our only caution is most retailers will not allow you to publish the same book through multiple publishers. For example, you can’t have Booktango list your book on Apple and also have Smashwords list your book on Apple.

Myth #2: Booktango has to make money somehow; I bet they are hiding book sales. False! Not only is this a horrible business practice, it is illegal! Every penny reported to us by the online retailers along with every penny you sell on the Booktango bookstore is passed on to you, the author.

Some online retailers, such as Scribd, have the ability to preview an eBook before you buy. The retailer decides how much of your book is available for preview. I recently saw a new release from Booktango that had about 75 views on Scribd almost immediately, but minimal actual sales. The reality is the preview of the book can help or hurt your book. The goal is that the preview is enough to “hook” the buyers, and they will purchase the full book. The flip side is they may read the preview and decide the book is not for them. A high number of views on a retailer doesn’t necessarily translate to high sales. I’m still a believer that the preview helps authors. You can use the views vs. sales to help you. With Booktango you can revise your book at any time. If you want to make the first chapter or introduction more suspenseful or attractive to those previewing it, you can start a resubmission. And, don’t forget to use your marketing text to hook the reader.

Myth #3: Booktango offers paid services too; if I publish with them they will pressure me to buy. False! This one is my favorite myths because it couldn’t be further from the truth. Does Booktango offer paid packages and services? Yes. Are you ever obligated or pressured to buy anything, No! In fact, Booktango doesn’t even have a sales team. Our customer service staff may suggest or make you aware of a service we offer, but their main goal is in their title: Customer Service. They are not commissioned and have no incentive to make sales.

Booktango does make money off our paid packages and services, but we also try to offer services that we feel truly give an author the power to make the choice. My boss uses the perfect analogy: You can mow your yard yourself or you can pay the neighbor kid to mow it for you, but in the end the choice is yours.

Have more myths or questions you’d like me to clear up? Post them in the comments below or message me on Twitter @Cruse_Tony and I would be happy to talk with you!

3 thoughts on “Fact vs. Fiction: Booktango Reviews, Complaints and Scams

  1. RE: MYTH 2

    “Yes, Booktango is free to use, but the company is working off a freemium model and provides additional fee-based services, such as copy editing, custom cover design, and marketing packages. That’s fine and par for the self-publishing course. But where things get a little dicier is with royalty rates.

    The Booktango Web site advertises a “100% royalty,” which is misleading considering you get that rate only from the e-books you sell on the Booktango Web site and Booktango charges a fee for each book you sell (30 percent of the list price–the same as Amazon). For other outlets, Booktango takes 10 percent of your net profits, resulting in a “90-percent royalty.”

    Booktango’s sample royalty rates (click link to see image http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-18438_7-57373292-82/author-solutions-dances-into-the-diy-e-book-market-with-booktango/).

    As you can see from the sample royalty rates, you end up making $1.62 on a $4.99 book. That’s actually quite bad.”

  2. Hi Mibs,
    Thank you for your comment. Allow me to correct a couple of details. Booktango does pay our authors every cent we are paid on a book, resulting in 100% author earnings. The article you link is from February 2012, shortly after our launch. You will note at the bottom of the article there is a note and correction. Additionally, we rolled out 100% royalties, including sales outside of the Booktango bookstore after this article was posted. If you sell a book for $4.99 on the Booktango bookstore, we will pay you $4.99. If you sell the same book at a retailer site, we will pay you every penny they pay us after the retailer takes their cut. Here are some more recent links as well as details found on our site itself, which is the best place to get current information.
    http://blog.booktango.com/free-e-book-publishing-online/
    http://www.booktango.com/Help/Royalties/#Earn

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